Social media time out as French election reaches final stage
The final hours of many electoral campaigns are frantic affairs, dominated by last-minute pitches, late-breaking polls and massive social media campaigns aimed at drumming up turnout.
Not so in France.
Rules dating back more than half a century impose a 44-hour time out ahead of the polls’ closure Sunday, meaning that politicians, journalists — and even ordinary citizens — are supposed to refrain from broadcasting any form of “electoral propaganda.”
The Twitter feeds of France’s 11 presidential candidates went quiet after midnight Friday. French television coverage was subdued. And if you’re a journalist who has just received a newsworthy tip about one candidate or the other, you’re just too late.
“The press can’t publish such a story,” said Pascal Jan, a professor of constitutional law at Sciences Po Bordeaux. “If there were a scandal, it should have been exposed Friday.”